Whether it’s that family reunion in London, or that long-awaited weekender to Singapore, we’re slowly inching towards international travel with Qantas. The Red Roo’s previous 2 attempts at relaunching overseas flights have been a non-starter, but we’re hopeful that third time’s the charm!

Qantas is banking on Australia reaching a national COVID-19 vaccination rate of 80% by the end of 2021, which should pave the way for the National Cabinet to loosen Australia’s borders under ‘Stage 3’ plans.

To help speed up the efforts, Qantas is rewarding frequent flyers who receive both jabs. And the carrier has also released a touching new video, set to the dulcet tones of… Tones and I:

“I had a dream that someday
I would just fly, fly away”

So is this a flight of fancy or good forward planning by Qantas? Either way, the carrier is now taking bookings for selected international routes in 2022.

Where will Qantas fly to internationally?

The airline’s schedule now shows the majority of new international flights starting from Monday 20 December 2021. Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and Airbus A330s will make up the bulk of the international fleet.

Qantas new international flights from Sydney

Route (to/from Sydney)StartFrequencyAircraft
Singapore and London20 Dec 21DailyBoeing 787
Singapore20 Dec 21DailyAirbus A330
Hong Kong14 Feb 224x weeklyAirbus A330
Tokyo (Haneda)20 Dec 214x weeklyAirbus A330
Los Angeles20 Dec 21DailyBoeing 787
Honolulu20 Dec 214x weeklyAirbus A330
San Francisco16 Feb 223x weeklyBoeing 787
Dallas Fort Worth14 Feb 225x weeklyBoeing 787
Vancouver20 Dec 213x weeklyBoeing 787
Nadi 21 Dec 214x weeklyBoeing 737

Sydney remains Qantas’ favourite international port with 10 routes kicking off from late 2021 to early 2022. Most of the longer journeys will be hosted by the sleek Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

Qantas new international flights from Melbourne

Route (to/from Melbourne)StartFrequencyAircraft
Singapore20 Dec 214x weeklyAirbus A330
Hong Kong15 Feb 223x weeklyAirbus A330
Tokyo Haneda15 Feb 223x weeklyAirbus A330
Los Angeles20 Dec 214x weeklyBoeing 787

From Melbourne, you could visit Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo or Los Angeles by early 2022. Only the long LA flight will be on the newer Boeing 787s, though.

Qantas new international flights from Brisbane

Route (to/from Brisbane)StartFrequencyAircraft
Singapore22 Dec 213x weeklyAirbus A330
Nouméa8 Jan 221x weeklyBoeing 737
Los Angeles22 Dec 213x weeklyAirbus A330
San Francisco14 Feb 223x weeklyAirbus A330

As we previously reported, Qantas will be extending the range on 2 Airbus A330s, so those jets can tackle the longer trans-Pacific missions to Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Qantas new international flights from Perth

Route (to/from Perth)StartFrequencyAircraft
Singapore14 Feb 22DailyAirbus A330
London20 Dec 21DailyBoeing 787

Perth holds on to Qantas’ special London non-stop route, for now. Singapore also returns to the map with daily Airbus A330s in February 2022. These flights will continue to be flown out of Qantas’ dedicated international wing of T3/T4.

Should I book these Qantas international flights?

We’ll be blunt – there is still a risk at this stage when booking any international travel using cash. Should you purchase a refundable fare or Qantas cancels or changes your flight, you are up for a lengthy wait for a refund. And if you want to change your travel plans on a non-refundable ticket, your only option is to receive a Credit Voucher, or fork out cancellation fees for a refund.

However, we also understand many of you (and us too!) are yearning to travel. It would be easier to book your flights now, rather than leave it and then face a rush of bookings if borders are eventually relaxed.

Use your Qantas Points for a flexible ticket

On this note, we still strongly recommend you book Qantas reward seats using Qantas Points. Qantas Classic Flight Rewards are fully flexible, with the change and cancellation fees currently waived. You can get a full refund before the flight for any reason, COVID-related or not.

Yes, we know the points needed can be relatively high. Carrier charges and taxes will sting your wallet as well. But this is your best option if you have plenty of points, and want the security of a full refund being available.

Be sure that you’re actually booking a ‘Classic Reward’ (see the screenshot below). If you’re buying a ‘Points + Pay’ ticket, that’s actually just a cash ticket offset by points. It has far more restrictive fare rules.

Book with cash to ‘Fly Flexible’, but with no refunds

If you do go ahead to book with cash, you will be covered by Qantas’ ‘Fly Flexible’ policy. This applies for bookings made by 28 February 2022, for travel through to 31 December 2022.

Can’t make the flight? Under the current policy, you can make unlimited date changes, or put the flight into credit. However, refunds are not part of the deal, unless Qantas cancels the flight or you buy a fully flexible ticket.

Finally, before you hit ‘book’, do consider that even if the 14-day hotel quarantine requirement is lifted, you might still need to do a period of home-quarantine upon return. It all depends on whether further quarantine-free ‘bubbles’ will be made or not.

Qantas set to soar abroad by the end of 2021 was last modified: September 1st, 2021 by Brandon Loo